What a joy it is to have such an eager group of students who are excited to learn a new subject. Day Two of the Textile Merit Badge involved dyeing two pieces or swatches of fabric with homemade natural dyes.
We soaked the onion skins and the chopped spinach overnight (OK - technically two nights). I do not recommend this as the spinach was very stinky! Then we boiled the natural dye with two tablespoons of salt in pots specifically designated for dyeing. You don't want to cook with a pot once you've used it for dyeing. After our natural dye had cooked properly, we strained the foodstuff and returned our liquid dye to its pot.
Here's the video we watched and followed for dyeing our fabric.
Then each Scout or sister put their two pieces of fabric (one neckerchief and one small swatch) into the two different pots. Then we boiled our fabric for 45 minutes. During this time, we continued on with the class lecture, videos and homework.
We cooled the fabrics in the sink (oops! The sink got dyed, too). The yellow onion skins made a beautiful deep rust colored fabric. The spinach made a very pale green and was messy to work with. I'm not sure I'd repeat this experience with spinach.
My nephew Pierce showed off his four creations - a sample fabric board, two dyed fabrics and his weaving project.
My nephew Conor posed for a similar photo.
Grace got in on the action with her samples, too.
We had four very happy Scouts and three even happier sisters who now were experts in the basics of the Textile industry. I can hardly wait to see what the future holds for them.